The drop in dental service at Western Heights Health Centre these holidays has been hugely successful, with about 60 children being seen in the first week.

Community Oral Health Services Manager, Juan Restrepo, said the drop in clinic was a new idea particularly focusing on increasing the number of pre-schoolers enrolling in the oral health service and being seen by a dental therapist.

More than 60 per cent of the children dropping into the dental clinic have been pre-schoolers and he said it was pleasing for all involved that the drop in clinic had been so successful in its first week

Parents of school aged children also like to take the opportunity to drop into the dental clinic during the school holidays when they are free to attend with their children, Mr Restrepo said.

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The drop in clinic is free and available for all children from pre-schoolers to 17 years old.

Mr Restrepo said the drop in clinic was being promoted in the newspaper, through the Western Heights Health Centre, the local pharmacy and with signage outside the health centre on Brookland Road and flyers in the area. He said a good number of parents were taking advantage of visiting the health centre and the drop in dental clinic at the same time.

Lakes DHB Pou Awhina Nellie Kennedy is also door knocking in the Western Heights area talking to parents about enrolling in the Community Oral Health Service and encouraging them to use the drop in clinic.

She has enrolled moet than 50 pre-schoolers this week in the Community Oral Health Service by visiting their homes, talking to their parents and getting the enrolment forms filled in.

Once children are enrolled in the Community Oral Health Service, they are contacted by their local dental clinic and given appointments on a regular basis.

The drop in dental clinic will be behind the Western Heights Health Centre for the second week of the school holidays until Friday 29 April from 8.30am to 4.00pm. There are two dental therapists available in the two-chair mobile dental van.

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Dental clinics at Selwyn Primary School and Rotorua Intermediate School are also open for appointments over the April school holidays. Please ring the clinic for an appointment.

Visits to the Community Oral Health Service are free for all children aged 0-17 years (until their 18th birthday).

Phone Selwyn Primary School (07-348 2650) or Rotorua Intermediate School (07-347 1495) for appointments over the holidays